The Villainous Feline Adversary in Dog Man – Who is Petey?

Introducing the Dog Man Books

The Dog Man book series is a popular children’s graphic novel franchise created by author and cartoonist Dav Pilkey. The books follow the adventures of the title character Dog Man, who is part dog and part man. The series is published by Scholastic and aimed at elementary school-aged readers.

The first Dog Man book, simply titled Dog Man, was published in 2016 and quickly became a New York Times bestseller. Due to the success of the initial book, Pilkey has expanded the Dog Man series to over 10 books as of 2020. The series has sold millions of copies worldwide.

According to the Scholastic website, the Dog Man books combine “the wild antics of early chapter books with the sweet sentimentality of a beloved dog story” with plenty of humor and fun illustrations. The books are presented in a colorful comic book style format that uses dialogue bubbles, panels, and vibrant artwork.

The creator, Dav Pilkey, is an experienced children’s book author who also created the popular Captain Underpants series. Pilkey uses his artistic talents and lively imagination to bring the Dog Man books to life for young readers.

The Dog Man books have garnered positive reviews, winning awards such as the California Young Reader Medal and appearing on best book lists from outlets like Kirkus Reviews and Barnes & Noble.

The Main Characters

The Dog Man series centers around the adventures of the title character, Dog Man. Dog Man was created when police officer Greg accidentally put the head of his police dog, Greg, onto the body of his partner, a policeman named Knight. This initially created a conflicted character who struggled between dog instincts and human morality, but Dog Man grew into a heroic protector of the city (

Other major characters include Petey, an evil cat who constantly hatches schemes against Dog Man. Petey often serves as the main antagonist of the series. Li’l Petey is Petey’s son, who sometimes assists his father but also befriends Dog Man. 80-HD is a robot dog built by Petey who also flip flops between good and evil. Chief is the chief of police and Dog Man’s boss.

The books also feature George and Harold, two prankster kids who created Dog Man in the first book. They continue to assist Dog Man on his adventures against Petey and other villains.

The Evil Cat Petey

Petey is introduced in the Dog Man series as the main antagonist and rival to the title character Dog Man. As described on the Dog Man Wiki, Petey is an evil cat with a long history of hatching dastardly schemes and plots against Dog Man and the city. Originally owned by Professor Bonkers, Petey was turned evil by a mysterious substance called “evil juice” that corrupted him. From that point on, he became determined to defeat Dog Man and cause mayhem.

In the early Dog Man books, Petey serves as the primary villain who Dog Man must repeatedly thwart. For example, in Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties, Petey teams up with another evil cat named Li’l Petey to try to take over the city. They are ultimately foiled by Dog Man. Throughout the series, Petey devises various evil plans to conquer the world, get revenge on Dog Man, and satisfy his nefarious ambitions. However, Dog Man manages to stop Petey’s schemes every time.

As the villainous feline adversary, Petey provides the crucial antagonistic force that Dog Man must battle against in order to protect the city. Petey’s constant scheming and evil exploits are major plot drivers and sources of conflict in the early Dog Man novels.

Petey’s Characteristics

Petey is characterized as an intelligent and scheming cat with a bit of a temper. He often hatches elaborate plans to try and take down Dog Man, frequently involving robots, clones, and other nefarious creations. Despite his villainous ways, Petey seems largely motivated by wanting attention and feeling overlooked compared to the popular Dog Man [1]. Petey resents no longer being the star and tries to reclaim the spotlight through his evil plans. While quite mean and selfish early on, Petey does eventually start to show more consideration for others over time.

As a cat, Petey is shown to be clever, sneaky, and manipulative. He knows how to take advantage of situations to get what he wants. Petey is also rather conceited and has a big ego. He thinks very highly of himself and his evil schemes. However, his plans also demonstrate his intelligence and inventiveness, using his smarts for evil purposes.

Overall, Petey is a complex character – an egotistical and hot-tempered villain, but one ultimately driven by wanting recognition and feeling overshadowed by Dog Man’s popularity.

Petey’s Evil Plots

As the primary antagonist in the early Dog Man books, Petey devises numerous schemes against Dog Man in an attempt to eliminate him and take over the city. According to the Dog Man Wiki, Petey often uses his way with words and manipulative tactics to invoke his evil plans. Some of his most notable plots include:

  • Trying to frame Dog Man for stealing a meatball sub in Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
  • Impersonating Dog Man and committing crimes around town in Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas
  • Teaming up with 80-HD to try to destroy Dog Man in Dog Man: Brawl of the Wild
  • Manipulating Lil Petey to help him escape from prison in Dog Man: Mothering Heights
  • Becoming mayor and abusing his power in Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls

In the early books, Petey’s schemes are generally focused on discrediting Dog Man, eliminating him as competition, taking revenge against him, or just causing mayhem around town. However, Petey’s plans are always ultimately foiled by Dog Man and the Supa Buddies.

Foiling Petey’s Plans

Although Petey is clever and conniving, Dog Man and his friends are often able to foil Petey’s evil plots. In Dog Man: Fetch-22, Petey disguises himself as Li’l Petey in order to trick Dog Man into retrieving bones he had buried around town However, Dog Man sees through the disguise when he notices Petey doesn’t have Li’l Petey’s limp tail. Together with George and Harold, Dog Man exposes Petey’s true identity and stops him from carrying out his bone-stealing scheme.

In Dog Man: For Whom the Ball Rolls, Petey secretly swaps a bomb for a kickball during a school field trip to the pool. His plan is to get revenge on Dog Man by blowing up the pool while he’s in it. But Li’l Petey overhears Petey’s evil laugh and warns Dog Man about the plot just in time. Dog Man switches the kickball with a real one before it can cause any damage

While Petey remains a tricky adversary, the teamwork of Dog Man and his pals allows them to stay one step ahead and thwart his schemes time and time again.

Petey’s Eventual Redemption

In the book Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas, Petey goes through a major character transformation and reforms from villain to hero. After being tormented by a gang of fleas, Petey has a change of heart and decides he no longer wants to live as an evil cat. He makes amends with Dog Man and chooses to use his intelligence for good instead of evil from that point forward.

A key moment in Petey’s redemption journey is when the Chief of the fleas cruelly flicks Petey’s flat tail, bringing back painful memories of how his tail was run over by a car when he was a kitten. This trauma helps Petey realize that cruelty only breeds more cruelty. He apologizes to Dog Man for all the harm he had inflicted over the years and pledges to become a force for good moving forward.

Petey proves himself by helping Dog Man and the Supa Buddies defeat the evil flea gang. He uses his intellect to outsmart the villains, while also overcoming his anger issues. By the end of the book, Petey has fully transitioned into a hero and ally. He and Dog Man establish a friendly rivalry, even if Petey’s competitive nature still comes out from time to time.

Overall, Petey’s redemption arc is a major turning point for the character. He evolves from bitter arch-nemesis to caring friend. This transition opens up new story possibilities and adds emotional depth to the Dog Man series.

Petey’s Ongoing Rivalry with Dog Man

Although Petey reforms and becomes more of an antihero than a villain, some rivalry still remains between him and Dog Man. Petey often competes with Dog Man and tries to prove he is the better hero [1]. They have an ongoing struggle for popularity and recognition. Petey wants to show he can be just as courageous and save the day too.

However, their rivalry has evolved into more friendly competition than true animosity. The two work together at times and Petey even helps take care of Dog Man’s clone Lil Petey on weekends [2]. Still, Petey can’t seem to fully let go of trying to outdo Dog Man and be the star. Old habits die hard, so some petty squabbling remains between the former arch enemies.

Petey’s Importance to the Series

Petey is one of the most important characters in the Dog Man series. As Dog Man’s original arch-nemesis, Petey provided a major source of conflict and drama in the early books. Their rivalry was a key part of the plot of the first few Dog Man books, such as Dog Man and Dog Man Unleashed. Petey’s schemes and evil plans gave Dog Man a challenge to overcome. His role as the villain created suspense and drove the narrative forward.

Later in the series, Petey experienced character growth and reformed from his evil ways, transitioning into more of an anti-hero role. According to the Villains Wiki, this transition from villain to hero made Petey one of the more complex characters in the Dog Man series. His ongoing dynamic with Dog Man, shifting from enemies to rivals to allies, adds nuance. Even after abandoning evil, Petey still serves as a source of conflict and obstacle for Dog Man to overcome at times.

In summary, as one of Dog Man’s main foils, Petey drives much of the drama and plot development throughout the entire Dog Man series. His rivalry and later grudging friendship with Dog Man is a central relationship. Petey’s transition from villain to hero also makes him one of the more compelling and developed characters in the books.


In conclusion, Petey serves as the main evil cat villain throughout the Dog Man series. As the arch nemesis of the hero Dog Man, Petey represents the opposing force of chaos, cruelty and crime. Despite his villainous ways, Petey’s character is more complex than a simple evil feline. Over the course of the books, we see Petey struggle with his conscience and his desire to be accepted. While he never fully reforms, he does gain more empathy and learns to channel his energy into less destructive outlets. Petey’s ongoing rivalry and battles with Dog Man provide much of the conflict that drives the narrative forward. His presence as the conniving cat antagonist is crucial to reinforcing Dog Man’s heroic qualities. While destined to be opponents, their relationship also reflects the tension between dogs and cats, adding humor and depth to the stories. So in many ways, Petey’s role as the bad cat gives meaning to Dog Man’s goodness, making him an essential part of the series.

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